We are working toward becoming one church community united by common learning goals, even as we are scattered commuting people.
This week we’re studying a passage from Ephesians that includes this line: “until all of us come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to maturity, to the measure of the full stature of Christ.”
We want to highlight the process involved. The aim is to become more and more like Jesus, not just in outward appearance, but completely, the “full stature”. This is clearly not instant, but a maturing process, since no one on this earth has ever been completely like Jesus.
I have shared a few stories from when I studied engineering, and the importance of learning problem solving and analysis. That principle can be applied to any scenario, even the unprecedented and complex ones.
Discipleship is about theological problem solving in similarly complex and unexpected situations. Paul was involved in discipleship to help his church members avoid being thrown around by every idea, doctrine like a small boat in wind and waves.
Contrast a road and ocean. Some want faith to be a roadway, with clear boundaries, signs, maps and directions to follow. But the problem is that real life is much more like an ocean, where you can’t give a plan for every scenario , but follow a compass heading with a specific end in mind, but the actual journey will be less strictly defined. This is the pursuit of discipleship, to set a compass heading of what the bible calls “Christlikeness” – becoming like Jesus Christ. We will get there by navigating all sorts of wind and wave action, and keeping focused on the end goal.
This is a series on church community, becoming like family. Discipleship is a family effort, done in a group. I remember engineering projects that would have been impossible for me to do it alone – I knew one aspect of the project, while others knew theirs, and together we accomplished something greater than any one of us could do on our own.
In the same way, we aren’t meant to grow as a disciple alone. We need challenge, encouragement, and complementary gifts like the five we saw yesterday.
Question: Are you more comfortable in a spiritual ocean or roadway? What part of life feels like an ocean today?
Coffee Hours this Week:
Have questions about the challenges, do you want to meet others exploring the same content, or connect with Ryan?
Join us for our coffee shop drop-in tonight, Wednesay, October 30th from 7:30pm-9:00pm at the Starbucks in the Ajax Chapters. Look for Ryan Sim in the drink line, or a Redeem the Commute postcard on a table.
If you know in advance that you’re coming, please RSVP here
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Yesterday we defined worship as giving worth to God, or in other words, acknowledging he is at the center of our lives, or we want him there if he isn’t.
Worship is about practicing God’s Presence. We can forget God is there in our busy lives, and something tangible can help. A friend of mine mentioned Elf on the Shelf on Facebook. Elf on the Shelf is a small elf doll that parents are supposed to hide somewhere in the house every night, claiming he is a “scout elf” who reports back to Santa. The elf becomes a visible symbol for small children who might forget that Santa is watching.
Worship is meant to be a visible symbol for those of us who might forget God is watching.
In the busyness of our everyday lives, we cannot always remember that God is with us. In spite of our best intentions we may find ourselves living and acting without regard to the fact that God is present in every aspect of our lives.
Sometimes we think something in our lives is coincidence, but God is actually doing something incredible. Sometimes we will find resources are suddenly supplied that we needed, and will think it was luck or our skills, when it was in fact God’s provision.
We want to develop an increasing sensitivity to God’s presence with us. We know that we develop skills and get better at things by practicing: an old saying reminds us practice makes perfect. It would be more truthful to say that practice reinforces, but in this case reinforcement is good enough. We need a way to reinforce our awareness of God’s presence in our lives.
Question: When have you seen God working in the last week? What seeming coincidences were there?
Reminder: Earlier in this series, we saw the importance of reading the Bible together in sync, so our new daily bible readings start today in our mobile app and web site.
This series looks at becoming “like family” with others learning to follow Jesus. We're exploring how the church is not a building, institution or event, but a community of people. It's important that explore what church means as we prepare to launch a new church in Ajax in 2014.